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Short And Long-Term Effects Of Halcion (Triazolam) Abuse

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

May 17, 2019

Abusing Halcion (triazolam) can lead to side effects that include headache, nausea, and difficulty breathing. This drug has a high potential for abuse, and can also result in long-term health risks such as addiction and withdrawal. To overcome Halcion abuse, people may require formal addiction treatment.

Halcion is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat insomnia. This central nervous system depressant can also help treat symptoms of anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. Triazolam is usually prescribed for a short amount of time, as it can be habit-forming.

Some people who take this medication struggle with dependence and addiction. This drug has hypnotic effects, and can produce feelings of relaxation. If taken in large or frequent doses, people may experience a feeling of well-being or being “high.”

People who abuse Halcion are at risk for short and long-term health risks. Halcion can cause serious side effects, including coordination problems and seizures. When Halcion is taken other than how it’s prescribed, the side effects of triazolam may be amplified.

Short-Term Effects Of Halcion (Triazolam) Abuse

Like most prescription drugs, triazolam comes with a list of side effects. When people abuse the medication for its euphoric effects, they often take more than prescribed. Ingesting large amounts of Halcion can worsen the side effects associated with this drug.

Triazolam side effects may include:

  • fatigue
  • hoarseness
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • coordination issues
  • skin rash
  • itchy or tingling skin
  • nausea
  • trouble sleeping
  • light sensitivity
  • vomiting
  • tolerance
  • dependence

When a person takes a potent drug like triazolam, they are at risk of becoming dependent on the substance. Dependence means their body and mind require certain amounts of the drug, in order to function normally.

People who are dependent on Halcion may also develop a tolerance. This occurs when the body requires higher doses in order to get the same effects. When a person begins taking larger doses of Halcion, they increase their risk of addiction and overdose.

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Long-Term Halcion (Triazolam) Effects

Triazolam is prescribed to help people sleep, but abusing this drug can quickly lead a person down the path of addiction. People who use the drug compulsively (or need the substance to feel normal) may experience long-term consequences, including addiction, withdrawal, and overdose.


When a person is physically dependent on a substance, they may also experience a psychological preoccupation with the drug. This physical and mental craving is often referred to as addiction.

Addiction can lead people to take more of their medication than prescribed. Some people may also steal other people’s medications, or visit multiple doctors in order to obtain more Halcion prescriptions.


When a person is addicted to a substance and stops use abruptly, their body may show symptoms of withdrawal. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be difficult, and in some cases, life-threatening. The safest way to get off benzodiazepines like Halcion is to detox in a medically supervised setting.

Halcion withdrawal symptoms can be mildly uncomfortable, such as sweating or muscle cramping. More severe withdrawal symptoms can include depression, hallucinations, and seizures.

People who stop taking triazolam suddenly may also experience a condition called “rebound insomnia,” which can last 1-2 days. If you want to stop taking Halcion, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider. A medical professional will advise you on how to safely withdraw from Halcion.


Ingesting large amounts of benzodiazepines like Halcion can result in an overdose. A person experiencing a triazolam overdose may display excitement, followed by shallow breathing, extreme fatigue, and unconsciousness (coma).

Benzodiazepines are especially dangerous when taken with other drugs, such as opioids. In 2015, 23 percent of people who died of an opioid overdose also tested positive for benzodiazepines. Both of these drug classes depress the respiratory system, and can lead to slowed breathing. Stopped breathing is the number one cause of fatal overdose.

Signs Of Halcion (Triazolam) Abuse

Triazolam abuse is a serious problem that can lead to dangerous health risks. If you are concerned that someone you love is struggling with Halcion abuse, it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of addiction.

People struggling with Halcion abuse and addiction may display signs such as:

  • excessive sleepiness
  • change in sex drive or ability
  • taking larger or more frequent doses than directed
  • decreased coordination
  • changing the method of use (such as crushing and snorting the tablet)
  • being preoccupied with prescriptions, doctors, and dosages
  • mental and physical craving for the drug
  • taking Halcion with other mood-altering substances, such as alcohol
  • running out of a prescription early
  • change in personality or habits
  • seeking prescriptions from multiple providers (“doctor shopping”)

It can be overwhelming to recognize signs of Halcion abuse in someone close to you. However, remember that Halcion addiction is a treatable condition that can be addressed at a medical detox program or rehab center.

Halcion (Triazolam) Detox Options

Before a person can seek formal treatment for benzodiazepine addiction, they will need to go through the detoxification process. Detox is the process that occurs during withdrawal, as the body attempts to clear itself from toxins.

People who experience Halcion withdrawal symptoms may be tempted to detox on their own. However, this can be risky, as many people end up relapsing during the severe stages of withdrawal.

In some cases, triazolam withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, so detox should take place under medical supervision.

In a medical detox program, doctors usually taper patients off high doses of triazolam. This weaning schedule minimizes withdrawal symptoms and helps reduce the chance of relapse.

Many detox programs also provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to keep patients stable and comfortable during the detox process.

Treatment For Halcion (Triazolam) Abuse And Addiction

Once a person has successfully detoxed from Halcion, they are ready to begin formal addiction treatment. Inpatient rehab programs provide a holistic approach to those struggling with Halcion abuse.

In a residential rehab program, patients are provided with personalized treatment plans. Group therapy, individual counseling, and 12-step support are often provided. Temporarily residing on-site allows patients the opportunity to take a break from daily stressors and focus on their recovery.

To learn more about the short and long-term effects of Halcion abuse, or to find treatment options near you, contact us today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Benzodiazepines and Opioids

U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus - Triazolam

U.S. National Library of Medicine, TOXNET - HSDB: TRIAZOLAM

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